Cell and Tissue Banking

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 11–19 | Cite as

Skin donors and human skin allografts: evaluation of an 11-year practice and discard in a referral tissue bank

  • Sonia Gaucher
  • Zena Khaznadar
  • Jean-Claude Gourevitch
  • Mohamed Jarraya
Original Paper


The Saint Louis hospital tissue bank provides skin allografts to pediatric and adult burn units in the Paris area. The aim of this study was to analyze our activity during the last 11 years focusing on the reasons for skin discard. Skin is procured solely from the back of the body, which is divided into 10 zones that are harvested and processed separately. This retrospective study included all skin donors harvested between June 2002 and June 2013, representing a total of 336 donors and 2770 zones. The donors were multiorgan heart-beating donors in 91 % of cases (n = 307). The main reason for discarding harvested skin was microbial contamination, detected in 99 donors (29 %). Most contaminants were of low pathogenicity. Other reasons for discard included positive serologic tests for 2 donors [17 zones (0.61 %)], unsuitable physical skin characteristics for 3 zones (0.11 %), the donor’s medical history for 53 zones (1.91 %), and technical issues with processing or distribution for 61 zones (2.2 %). In our experience, microbial contamination continues to be the main reason for discarding potential skin allografts. However, discards are limited by separate harvesting and processing of multiple zones in each donor.


Tissue banking Skin donors Skin allografts Discards Microbial contamination 



Multi-organ heart-beating donors


Non-heart-beating donors



The authors would like to thanks Dr. Jean-Luc Donay from the microbiology department of Saint Louis Hospital as well as Thierry Marchix, Chantal Schaffart, and all the members of the Tissue Bank technical team. Thanks to Dr. Sophie Olson for revising this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Gaucher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zena Khaznadar
    • 3
  • Jean-Claude Gourevitch
    • 3
  • Mohamed Jarraya
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculté de MédecineUniversité Paris DescartesParisFrance
  2. 2.Service de Chirurgie Générale, Plastique et Ambulatoire, APHPHôpitaux Universitaires Paris Centre, Hôpital CochinParisFrance
  3. 3.Banque des Tissus Humains, APHPHôpital Saint-LouisParisFrance

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